New Relic opens wider on open source observability

Known for its observability technology, New Relic this year joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Governing Board as a platinum member.

It was a natural biological organic fit, say the code lovers over at New Relic… but why?

Because (they insist) New Relic supports CNCF’s mission of making cloud-native computing ubiquitous by providing governance, thought leadership and engineering resources to shape and influence the direction of the cloud-native ecosystem.

While that sounds a little like they’re reading from a scripted song-sheet, we do know that as part of this mission (and in line New Relic’s commitment to making observability open for everyone), New Relic is in the process of contributing Pixie, its Kubernetes-native in-cluster observability platform, as a new open source project to CNCF under Apache 2.0 license.

Zain Asgar, GM of Pixie and New Relic Open Source (and, for the record, CEO and co-founder of Pixie Labs, which was acquired by New Relic in December 2020), has joined the CNCF Governing Board

“Open source is a defining value for New Relic and Pixie, which is why we are standardising our observability offerings with OpenTelemetry and are in the process of contributing Pixie as an open source project to CNCF,” said Asgar.

Pixie open source

Looking more closely at Pixie, this is an observability platform for cloud-native applications, enables developers to see all of their applications’ metrics, events, logs and traces with a single CLI command.

Pixie’s technology removes the need to add instrumentation code, set up ad hoc dashboards, or move data off of the cluster, saving developers valuable time so they can focus instead on building better software. The open sourcing of Pixie represents a significant investment in the community, and a majority of Pixie’s engineering resources have been dedicated to the effort.

Pixie Open Source will now run on AWS as an expansion of the recent collaboration with New Relic on AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry as a secure, production-ready, AWS-Supported distribution of the OpenTelemetry project. Pixie Open Source on AWS aims to improve customer experience and make it easier for users to monitor the health and performance of their AWS container applications.

New Relic will also now standardise its observability offerings with CNCF’s OpenTelemetry standards.

“New Relic’s native OpenTelemetry protocol (OTLP) support and curated user experiences will allow customers to use this new standard of instrumentation to understand, troubleshoot and optimize their systems. New Relic has also open sourced more than 10 years of R&D in agents, integrations, SDKs, CLIs and custom visualizations in its New Relic One catalog, making it easier for engineers to access and build custom instrumentation,” said the company, in a press statement.

The no-instrumentation data collection capability in Pixie together with OpenTelemetry protocol support in New Relic could well be popular.

New Relic is also a founding member of Eclipse Adoptium, a leading provider of fully compatible, high-quality distributions of Java runtimes based on OpenJDK source codes.


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